Jarrett Allen Sent Warning by Julius Randle After Hard Foul in Knicks-Cavs Game Two

Jarrett Allen Cleveland Cavaliers

Getty Jarrett Allen of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Though the Cleveland Cavaliers were up by 23 with less than three minutes remaining in Game Two against the New York Knicks, head coach Tom Thibodeau opted to keep his stars in the game.

And in an instant, it became abundantly clear why that is a no-good, very bad idea. Julius Randle pumped down the floor on a fast break, only to be taken out mid-air by Cavs big man Jarrett Allen. Randle tumbled to the floor, wincing in pain from the contact and fall.

After the game, he offered a candid answer about whether Allen’s attempted block was a true “basketball play.”

“I thought it was a little unnecessary,” Randle said during his postgame interview. “When you understand playoff basketball, you don’t give up on plays, and I respect that. I’m somebody who plays hard. I respect that, but typically when you make those kinds of plays, you run across their body, not through them.”

Randle went on to issue a veiled warning to Allen as the series heads to Madison Square Garden in New York City:

“But it’s fine. It’s irrelevant [now]. We go back to the Garden, and we’ll see them there.”

Brunson, Hart, Randle, & Barrett on How They'll Respond to Loss vs Cavs at MSG | New York KnicksThe New York Knicks offense couldn't get anything going as the Cleveland Cavaliers' defense held them to 90 points inn the loss. Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, Julius Randle, & RJ Barrett talk about the physicality and what they'll change for game 3. » Subscribe to MSG Networks: bit.ly/2wBfowz About MSG Networks: MSG Networks Inc. (MSG…2023-04-19T03:22:03Z

It was a deflating loss for the Knicks, who briefly stole home-court advantage after their Game One victory.

Magic Johnson Praises Darius Garland & JB Bickerstaff

But for Cavs fans, Game Two was proof of concept for a team with a talent ceiling of Key Tower but otherwise light on playoff experience. Leading the charge was Darius Garland, who finished with a game-high 32 points and seven assists, nearly doubling his point total in Game One.

Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson loved what he saw from the former Vanderbilt Commodore in the rematch.

“Cleveland guard Darius Garland Put on a one man show scoring 26 points in the first half and ending with 32 in the Cavaliers 107-90 win over the Knicks,” Johnson tweeted along with three fire emojis.

Johnson also praised head coach JB Bickerstafff, whose adjusted game plan against Jalen Brunson did not go unnoticed by the former champ.

“One of the reasons the Cavaliers won is because Coach Bickerstaff made a great Game 2 adjustment by double teaming NY Knicks guard Jalen Brunson,” Johnson posted.

Brunson still managed 20 points and six assists, but shot only 5-17 from the field and 1-8 from beyond the arc.

Isaac Okoro Takes Jab at Jalen Brunson Before Game Two

But Brunson still found a way to get to the free-throw line. The former Villanova Wildcat hit the charity stripe four times in Game One, cashing in on all of his attempts.

Accessing free throws has become a key facet of Brunson’s game; last year, he attempted just 2.7 free throws per game. This year, that number is up to 5.8, tied with Bennedict Mathurin for the 13th-highest attempts per game.

Going into Game Two, Isaac Okoro spoke about the Cavs’ intent to keep Brunson off the free throw line by not falling for his “antics.”

“Just being disciplined,” Okoro said about how the Cavs can keep Brunson from the line. “Knowing, talking to the refs you know, trying to let them know some of the antics. You know he might do, you know staying down on pump fakes, you know trying to use my size and my length just to try and deter shots and passes.”

Cavs Practice: Isaac OkoroCleveland Cavaliers forward Isaac Okoro spoke to the media following practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts on April 17, 2023.2023-04-17T19:46:35Z

Fair to say the strategy didn’t quite work out. Brunson attempted ten free throws in Game Two, suggesting his “antics” are still working.


The Cavs and Knicks will both look to take the series lead in New York on Thursday night.

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